Baquba wetlands

Country/territory: Iraq

IBA criteria met: A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2 (1994)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 2,000 ha

Nature Iraq

Site description (baseline)
A group of marshes in the Diyala valley between Baquba and Shahraban, c.75 km north-east of Baghdad. These include Haur Abu Abbas (33°50'N 44°45'E, a shallow freshwater lake, c.500-1,000 ha), Haur Shaikh Sayed (33°51'N 44°46'E, by 1972 a lake of only 10 ha, almost drained), Haur Al Ahmar (34°00'N 44°55'E, freshwater, c.600 ha), Haur Al Habara, Haur Abdul Warid, Haur Al Ugur (34°00'N 44°55'E) and a rain-flooded area near Shahraban (Al Miqdadiyah). At Haur Al Ahmar the flat shore is covered with dense reedbeds, and mudflats are exposed at low water; the area surrounding the southern shore area is fertile cultivation, with cotton, corn, date-palm groves and orchards, and the lake serves for irrigation of these.

Key biodiversity
The site is important for wintering waterbirds, e.g. 39,900 wildfowl were present in January 1968. Other wintering species include Circus aeruginosus (17), Remiz pendulinus (4, Haur Al Ahmar) and Corvus frugilegus (5,000, Haur Al Ahmar); Anthus spinoletta is common. There is little information from other times of year, but Coracias garrulus has bred. The entire area was listed as a wetland of international importance by Carp (1980).

Non-bird biodiversity: No information available to BirdLife International.

Data-sheet compiled by Pavel Ctyroky.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Baquba wetlands. Downloaded from on 06/06/2023.